Spot on: Patrizia Moroso
Innate style stems from one's passion for life, and is interpreted through everything that we say and do. See what fuels Patrizia Moroso's passion for design and how she seeks out likeminded individuals.
Moon chair by Tokujin Yoshioka
For more than half a century, Moroso has been inspiring the world of interiors. Quality and avant-garde design are two central themes that run with every Moroso creation and one can expect nothing less than artistic perfection, under the watchful eye of creative director, Patrizia Moroso.
The pleasure of Patrizia Moroso’s company is a rare treat. The sparkle in her eye is one that twinkles in the delight of life, the excitement for art, the love of travel and appreciation of the beauty in the world. The creative director who has single-handedly helped transform her family legacy from an upholstering furniture company to a brand that is synonymous to the contemporary style and artistic flavour Moroso is famous for, can best be defined as a curator of art in the form of furniture design.
From humble beginnings, Moroso tells the romantic story of two young lovers Agostino Moroso and his wife Diana (Patrizia’s parents), who decided to stay back in their war-torn homeland Italy after the second world war, to rebuild their motherland and make something of themselves. While their young counterparts were running to America, this young couple began their furniture company with nothing but a bank loan and a dream.
Revered as a country of hope and salvation, having played a critical role in saving Italy from Nazi Germany, everyone loved America and all their young friends of the same age were ready to leave in search of fortune and a new beginning to escape the remnants of an Italy left in shambles with the painful horrors of war. Patrizia’s father however, stood by his country saying, “We cannot be Italians if we go to America” and so her parents stayed back in Italy instead. It was an act of patriotism and an endeavour of love that led this couple, these two factory workers poor as they were, to stay in their battle weary, ravaged homeland.
The Moroso factory in Udine, Italy
Post-war Italy was a time of reconstruction and restoration and Italy was giving those who stayed back a chance to make something of themselves. “They had no money, and went to a bank and said, ‘Look, we are working and we need to make a factory.’ And they got the loan.” “Banks then,” Patricia adds candidly, “are nothing like banks today – they don’t give you money if you don’t have any money – I’ll never understand why banks exist today!” This was said in empathy with the working-class from which she herself hails from.
In the eight years that ensued, Patrizia’s parents were able to build a good furniture company, with around 100 employees. For those employees who ten years before had nothing, the Moroso factory and their employment, meant everything to them. Patrizia shares, “When a country puts its faith in its young people, incredible things like this can happen. And this was their fantastic beginning!” The Moroso brand continued to grow a little bit each year.
Patrizia herself grew up in the factory, with images of her mum sewing and her father nailing things together, still very vivid in her memory. She claims that like a duckling coming out of its shell, “what she saw, is what she knew”, and mimicking her mother at their factory is all she ever knew as a child.
"I found myself back in my destiny.
And this destiny was a fantastic one
– I just didn't know it yet."
It was a family affair and relatives were all recruited to help with the manufacturing of Moroso furniture. Eventually Patrizia left home, to live in Bologna where she studied arts, got married and settled into a world that she believed was a different path than what her parents had created for themselves.
But life, in the form of a fateful phone call from her father, had a different plan for her. At the age of 25, Patrizia received a phone call that changed her life forever – her father, calling to let her know that due to the economic downturn, that it was imperative that she and her brother came back home so a decision could be made as to whether they would continue the business or shut it down completely. A no-brainer, Patrizia came home. Patrizia muses, “I found myself back in my destiny. And this destiny was a fantastic one – I just didn’t know it yet.”
Shadowy chair by Tord Boontje
When Patrizia came back, she found a natural inclination to bring her art education and expertise into her family’s furniture company. Her father, enthusiastic that she was home to help run the family business was quick to give her the go-ahead. So it began, Patrizia’s incorporation of her arts background to her family’s upholstering and furniture making business. “Design was strategic in that moment, because if we didn’t do something like that, we probably would have had to close down. When you are a nice company, without a brand, in moments where there is less demand, the companies that survive are those with a name, a brand that is known,” she says of her ingenious concept to integrate art and avant-garde design in her family business to create classic Moroso masterpieces.
Paper plane by Doshi Levien
Fond of picking out young talented designers and putting them on centre stage, she is responsible for putting designers such as Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien, Patricia Urquiola, Ron Arad, and Sebastian Herkner among many others at the forefront of the interiors design community. It is for this reason Moroso has been able to consistently be at the top of its game with a string of fabulous world-renowned designers under its belt. “I really like to work with young designers when they are just starting out. They have a very special fire inside, they need to show you something beautiful!” she enthuses. “Now, most of them are famous and can work with anyone. But in the beginning, it was important to give them that opportunity to express themselves.”
M.a.s.s.a.s sofa by Patricia Urquiola
Patrizia herself, full of spunk and love for the bold and beautiful, radiates with passion for art. “Art is a very strong instrument. It helps you learn and teaches you how to react to reality. Artists have big antlers to feel the world, or maybe solar panels that you absorb energy from.” And lucky for us, curators of art like Patrizia make it possible for us to enjoy art every day with furniture by Moroso.
In the design world, there is no better validation than when Patrizia Moroso herself takes notice of your work.
A visionary, Moroso has always had her gaze set towards the horizon and her foot in the future. With a keen eye for good design and raw talent, she has been known to put designers on the map, and a collaboration with Patrizia Moroso will result in a career break most designers can only dream of.
Read about our interview with German designer Sebastian Herkner, one of Moroso’s latest pride and joy who has recently launched his first collection of baskets called Bask and the Moroso Coat armchair.